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Written by Julia Wolf
An attic (symbol)
Campbell’s attic is a symbol of a lonely life and depressing existence, deprived of all hopes for improvement. It is also a symbol of a mystery, for people usually keep the things from their past there. Campbell is also from the past and that is why he belongs there. This “depressing”, “ratty” place becomes shows how destroyed his mind is.
St. George and the dragon (allegory)
St. George is the saint who kills an embodiment of evil, the dragon. For O’Hare, he is St. George and Campbell is the dragon, “the pure evil”. However, O’Hare doesn’t look like a saint even remotely, he is not that ideal spotless hero, he is “poor, silly, drunk”, but still O’Hare can’t get rid of an idea that he is St. George and Campbell is the dragon. The whole war is a battle between St. Georges and the dragons; the problem is that they all are just usual people.
The madness of war (motif)
The protagonist asks himself how he has been always able to live with what he did. Although he was a propagandist and was not working in a concentration camp or fighting on the front, he is still responsible for those horrible things. The answer is rather simple, this is “schizophrenia”. Campbell says that it is “boon to modern mankind”, for it allows us to be villains and good people at the same very time.
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